Nov 28, 2014

A pranayama to help you do prayers with calm mind: Udgitha

Difficult to pronounce, this is a pranayama recommended for prayer. However, this pranayama is only for those who won't mind producing the sound of 'om', while exhaling.
Why we are saying so, as if cautioning against a hazard, is that we have found that some people are very sensitive about doing anything that even remotely relates to religions other than their own.
Let us explain further; om is supposed to be the prime sound, the sound of the universe, in Hinduism. All religious mantras of Hindus start with this sound. But this sound itself has nothing to do with Hindu rituals or beliefs. A liberal view would be to adopt it, as it is supposed to lead you to connect with the ultimate, who/ which is not a captive of any religion. If that appears too esoteric, think of om as a sound that resonates your wind pipe while you exhale; the resonance is found to be good for your nervous, endocrine and vascular systems. Without the om sound, this pranayama, perhaps, would have no benefits.

To do udgitha,
  1. Sit in cross-legged position on a mat or folded blanket,
  2. stretch arms so that the back of palm is placed on or near the knee,
  3. open your fingers and bring the tips of the index finger and thumb together, letting other fingers to remain open comfortably,
  4. inhale slowly but take a slightly deeper than normal breath,
  5. exhale through slightly opened mouth, and producing om sound; exhale till the breath is out slightly more than normal,
  6. repeat the above sequences 4-5 about 10 times. Slowly take it to about 50 times or more - depending upon your comfort level and time in hand.
Udgitha, as we said earlier, is a pranayama suited for prayers. Do pray to your God while doing this pranayama. Relax both physically and mentally. Leave all your anxieties out [in 99.9999999999 percent of cases, no heavens will fall if you do not worry or remain without disturbing thoughts for 5- 10 minutes]. Doing this pranayama will itself further relax you.